Costa Mesa Students Get Virtual Reality Tour of Brain

By ABC 7

March 1, 2017

Three classes of sixth graders at Davis Magnet School in Costa Mesa were treated to a whole new look during their science class.

The middle school students received a virtual-reality tour of the brain using their phones and cardboard goggles.

"It's like you're actually inside of the brain and you could see everything," student Conner Nellesen explained.

Their tour guide was Dr. Robert Louis, a neurosurgeon at Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach. He found his passion for his career when a neurosurgeon visited his sixth grade class.

"This is what I do. This is what I've become. So it's awesome for me to have the opportunity to come back and hopefully share that inspiration and get them excited about it," said Louis.

For the last year, Louis has used "surgical theater" before every brain surgery he performs. Hoag is one of 12 hospitals in the U.S. to have the technology.

"This is what we're looking for in technology, to be able to improve people's lives and make surgery safer and more effective," Louis said.

Students didn't take their eyes off Louis as he showed them how he rehearses a surgery using the VR.

The lesson gave a real life experience to a six-week medical residency program created by teachers.

"We were talking about how we can bring this to our kids without simply lecturing in front of the classroom," said Lisa Holman, a sixth grade teachers at the school.

Even if the students aren't sure what they want to be in the future, many of them said they were thrilled to hear how technology is changing lives.

"I don't know what I'm going to be when I grow up, but I look forward to seeing more advances in the future," said Nellesen.

To view the original article and broadcast clip from ABC, please click here.